Small grain plantings for 2008 progressed at a normal pace in the fall of 2007, according to the USDA, NASS, Georgia Field Office. Rainfall during the winter months was near normal, while slightly above normal in the southern part of the state.

Winter temperatures were generally near normal. Crop conditions during the winter months were mostly good. Weather conditions for harvesting were good and harvesting progress was near normal.

All wheat planted in Georgia for the 2008 crop was 480,000 acres, 120,000 acres more than in 2007.

Wheat harvested for grain was 400,000 acres, 170,000 acres more than last year. Wheat yields were set at 56 bushels per acre, which is 16 bushels per acre more than a year ago and this yield set a new state record. The previous record was 54 bushels per acre set in 2000. Production totaled 22.4 million bushels, more than double the production in 2007.

Oats planted for the 2008 crop was 65,000 acres, with the area harvested for grain at 25,000. Both acreages were 5,000 acres less than in 2007. The yield for oats averaged 69 bushels per acre, 13 bushels per acre more than last year. This yield is the second highest on record, bested by the 2000 record yield of 72 bushels per acre.

Production totaled 1.73 million bushels, up 3 percent from last year’s 1.68 million bushels.

Georgia’s acreage planted to rye, at 200,000 acres was 13 percent less than was planted in 2007. Most of the rye in Georgia is used for winter grazing and as a winter cover crop. However, 40,000 acres were kept to maturity and harvested for grain and seed. This acreage is the same as in 2007. Yield averaged 30 bushels per acre, 9 bushels more than in 2007, setting a new state record. The former record was 27 bushels per acre set in 1991, 1994, and 2005. Production was up 43 percent from a year ago at 1,200,000 bushels.